Donald Trump urged not to scrap Daca policy for young immigrants

Protesters gather at the Federal Building in Los Angeles to show support for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (Daca) programme, 1 September 2017Image copyright

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Protesters gather in Los Angeles in a show of support for the Daca immigration programme

Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan has urged US President Donald Trump not to scrap an Obama-era programme that protects young undocumented immigrants.

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (Daca) programme provides temporary residency for children brought to the US illegally.

It protects hundreds of thousands of so-called “Dreamers” from deportation and provides work and study permits.

Mr Trump had previously said that he planned to “terminate” the programme.

The White House has now said the president will announce his decision on Tuesday.

Mr Ryan urged the president to allow Congress to “work” on the issue.

He said that “conversations” had taken place “with the White House” and that Mr Trump also wanted to find “a humane solution to this problem”.

“There are people that are in limbo,” Mr Ryan said, adding: “These are kids who know no other country, who were brought here by their parents and don’t know another home.”

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Demonstrations have also been taking place at the White House in Washington

“We love the Dreamers,” Mr Trump told reporters in the Oval Office. “We love everybody,” he said, adding: “We think the Dreamers are terrific.”

Mr Ryan’s comments place him among a small but growing number of Republican lawmakers to speak out against scrapping the immigration programme created in 2012 by former Democrat President Barack Obama.

A crackdown on illegal immigration in the US was the driving force behind Mr Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and deportations have increased since he took office in January.

In the run-up to the election, Mr Trump said that he planned to “immediately terminate” the Daca programme.

However business leaders have argued that immigration boosts the US economy and that ending the Daca programme would hit economic growth and tax revenue.

What is Daca?

The Daca programme protects roughly 750,000 people in the US from deportation and provides temporary permits for work and study.

In order to qualify for Daca, applicants under the age of 30 submit personal information to the Department of Homeland Security.

They must go through an FBI background check and have a clean criminal background, and either be in school, recently graduated or have been honourably discharged from the military.

In exchange, the US government agrees to “defer” any action on their immigration status for a period of two years.

The majority of so-called Dreamer immigrants in the US are from Mexico and other Latin American countries.

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